Calif Pork Farming Rule Has Broad Implications

California passed Proposition 12, which increased the minimum square footage for a pig’s pen in California and forbids the sale of pork in California from pigs raised in less space than California pigs. Lower courts upheld the new California rule over the objections of national pork producers and the US Supreme Court has now agreed to hear the producers’ appeal.

The Constitutional doctrine of the “dormant commerce clause” prohibits individual states from regulating interstate commerce in a way that discriminates against out-of-state businesses or impedes the free-flow of commerce between the states. Some of the new Supreme Court justices oppose the dormant commerce clause and others support it.


The challengers argue that Proposition 12 violates the dormant commerce clause because, as a practical matter, it will not only regulate the pork industry outside of California, butstrong text in fact virtually all of its impact will fall outside of Californiastrong text, [effectively discriminating against out-of-state producers]…

the effects of the law… will be sweeping. It will raise prices on all pork sales, they tell the justices, put smaller pig-breeding farms out of business and compel farmers to “adopt practices that they believe are harmful to their sows and employees.” And in doing so, the challengers write, the law “inescapably projects California’s policy choices into every other State” – even when other states, like Ohio, specifically allow pork formers “to do what Proposition 12 forbids.”


Calfornia may like to be able to dictate policies for every other state, but California doesn’t like it when other states are able to dictate policies for California. The dormant commerce clause doctrine puts limitations on how far each state can go in projecting their power over other states in ways that impede interstate commerce.

It will be interesting to see which of the new Supreme Court justices accept California’s states’ rights argument vs. which justices are willing to use the dormant commerce clause doctrine to limit a state’s right to impose rules different from other states.


Hmmmm, I thought this law only impacts sales in California. No one is forcing people to sell goods in California. And California is not imposing rules on other states that California producers don’t have to comply with.

If a state imposes strong safety rules over foods or medicines sold in their state, why should shoddy producers in other states be allowed to override these safety rules?



[quote=“AlphaWolf, post:2, topic:78105”]
If a state imposes strong safety rules over foods or medicines sold in their state, why should shoddy producers in other states be allowed to override these safety rules? [/quote]

Yes. This is Capitalismo. The customer has druthers. Meet them or he doesn’t have to do business with you. Also, if the customer is being too picky, making ridiculous demands, as in redecorating the house or just getting a haircut at the local barbershop, the seller can refuse to do business with that customer on the grounds of he just cannot or chooses not to meet those requirements. How is this not a free market transaction? It’s certainly more of a free market transaction than a worker looking for a job or anyone needing a doctor or a hospital.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but California already sets different standards than the rest of the country for the gasoline it sells. Different states have different regulations for the mortgages they “sell”, for the sales of guns (some places regulate - or ban - high capacity magazines), some states allow alcohol to be sold in some flavors or percentages while others do not.

I thought the whole idea of “states” was to have a lab of experimentation so the best ideas/laws/regulations could rise to the top.

Should we have prevented Colorado from legalizing pot because other states didn’t want to?

Why bother with state laws then anyway?


I agree. Let’s be a real country with common laws for us all.

Obviously, it’s more complicated than that. The question is always ‘where is the demarcation for local control vs. federal control?’

There’s supposed to be some old document that clarifies that question, but it really needs a modern update.
Good luck with that.


Because we are a petri dish. We go three steps forward and one step back over time.

If you want no headaches a dictator will take off your head. We have a democratic republic…the mob sounds off, the courts mess up, we get crap…and our crap is much better than most.